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1702 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2005 2:54 PM by sdlynch Rookie 1 posts since
Jul 9, 2007
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Feb 22, 2005 1:51 PM

Resistance workout before or after aerobic?

Any thoughts out there on whether resistance training should be done before or after your run, bike or swim workout?

  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I think after. i think you lift better after you are warmed up.

    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • mattfitz71 Amateur 24 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    Of course, it's best to allow enough time between workouts that you are ready to perform well in whichever comes second. As a general rule, I recommend doing the more important of the two workouts first. Usually that's the aerobic workout.

  • rkarboviak Pro 154 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    As a strength coach, you can gain greater strength benefits when your muscles are at their 'freshest'.  There is a rising debate as to which to do first, but in my opinion, from personal experience, I feel strength should be done first, and aerobic training after. 


    Here's why:  I believe the muscles should be fresh for maximum strength and have a maximum amount of energy available to develop that strength.  If the muscles are pre-fatigued with aerobic exercise, you have less energy left in reserve, and therefore, less potential for strength improvement.  Recovery from strength training is much different than recovery from aerobic exercise.


    I rather split the 2 sessions apart, such as lift in the morning, run/swim/bike in the afternoon/early evening.  This works well for me and my training, and for my clients as well.


    This is just one strategy, I'm sure there's others out there that have worked for people.


    Rick Karboviak, CSCS

  • DanOstrowski Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    I look at this very simply.  I enjoy lifting weights and doing resistance work much more than cardio, so I do the cardio first while I am more energetic.  I feel that I can get more out of my workout if I do the cardio first rather than second.  I will also be less inclined to talk myself out of a run if I get it out of the way, before my "more fun" lift.

  • vote4pedro Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    If you do your weight training first you will use all of your glucose stores up since wieght training does not use fat as energy because it is anaerobic.  This will benefit you when doing cardio since you will have no storage of glucose left your body will use the fat it has stored and thus you burn more fat.  People run into a problem though is they do there weight training and then become to tired to do cardio.

  • motiv8upag Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    As an Ironman Triathlete I find it easier to do a Zone 1-3(hence aerobic NOT anaerobic) run or bike training session before doing Strength training. I feel warmed up and loose before hitting the weights(squats, leg cables, leg curls etc...)If I do weights before running or biking I have dead legs. No Power. Ideally, you want to do strength training on a day all to itself(early in the week).



  • susan hunt Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    It is proven that you should do anaerobic training before aerobic training due to the utilization of the fuels in the body. So I guess the question would be what type of "resistance training" you are doing. If you are fatiguing in under 12 reps than you should do this workout before.

  • sdlynch Rookie 4 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    these sound like good arguments, but they differ from what i have heard and go by.  i would think that aerobic training and resistance traning will both use up glycogen stores, so i don't see that as being a reason to do one or the other first.  but i would rather do my aerobic training, especially running, cycling, or swimming, first, because my form will be better without the fatiguing effects of resistance training.  maintaining good form is important for minimizing risk of injury, and for making the most gains in your workout.  doing aerobic training while not fully recovered is great for training triathlon, since you'll be somewhat spent for 2 of the events of a race, but aerobic fatigue differs from muscle fatigue that comes with strength training.

  • ejlackey Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007



    I guess it depends on where you think form is more important. For me, I'd rather be at the top of my game when weight training with heavy resistance. One slip-up could put you in serious trouble.


    I don't really "think" about form when jogging or cycling after the weight training. Kinda comes naturally.



    I agree with rkarboviak and vote4pedro. I do my resitance first and use my quick energy stores for power, and then move to cardio to burn fat.


    I'm sure at this point its going to be personal preference. You will probably still achieve the same goal in the long run.


    Just don't forget to do both!!

  • sdlynch Rookie 4 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    yes, definitely i can see that the nature of your goals can influence which would be a better idea to do first, aerobic (or any other non-resistance-type) or resistance training.  i've just kept it as a rule of thumb that weights should be the last workout of the day. form deteriorates without your knowing it, if you're not paying attention, especially when you're tired.  and of course caution should always be excercised when weight training, so as not to get injured.


    true that form should come automatically, but i find it still pays off to spend just a little time concentrating on it, and maintaining that good muscle memory.  i still incorporate just a few form drills into my warmups.

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